Dick's Sporting Goods, the Pittsburgh chain with more than 400 stores in 40 states, plans to open its first Washington store at South Hill Mall in Puyallup next spring.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, a Pittsburgh chain with more than 400 stores in 40 states — though not yet Washington — plans to open at South Hill Mall in Puyallup next spring.

The new Dick’s store will cover nearly 60,000 square feet of space previously occupied by Circuit City and Linens ‘n Things. The space has been empty since the two chains closed all their stores in the past year.

Dick’s operates mostly in the eastern half of the United States. Lately, it has been expanding on the West Coast, with 15 stores in California. It has one in Oregon, with six more locations there “coming soon.”

Dick’s arrival means more competition locally for Colorado-based Sports Authority, which plans to open new stores in Seattle and Lake Stevens, in space occupied by Joe’s Sports before it went under in the current economic downturn.

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Dick’s also will take “a little nick” out of Kent-based REI, said analyst Edward Weller, who follows publicly traded Dick’s for ThinkEquity in San Francisco.

Still, Weller said, “I don’t think anyone is under the illusion that Dick’s is going to do a better business in biking and camping than REI.” What Dick’s offers is a broad-range of products for “mainstream” sports, Weller said. “Dick’s wants to cater to someone who runs five days a week or plays tennis once a week.”

Dick’s, which also owns specialty retailer Golf Galaxy, made a second-quarter profit of $38.9 million as sales rose 3.7 percent to $1.1 billion. The company’s stock has traded between $9.21 and $26 in the past 52 weeks. Shares declined $1.19, or 5 percent, Wednesday to $22.66.

Dick’s said in its second-quarter earnings report it plans to open 24 new stores in 2009, more than it expected. The company attributed the increased openings to an accelerated expansion in the Northwest.

Weller said Dick’s is likely to open additional stores in Washington state, though the timing could depend “on how the real estate breaks.”

“I’m surprised they announced one without announcing three” others, he said.

Attempts to reach company officials Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com